A month after the elections to the Basque Parliament on June 21, Basque political news continues to be marked by the talks between the PNV and the PSE to form a government and now also, although to a lesser extent, by the start of the campaign for the European elections. Jeltzales and socialists, however, will wait until the June 9 elections are over to present their government agreement, which will be made public, in all likelihood in the following week. From there, Imanol Pradales will be sworn in by the Basque Parliament on June 20 and, finally, will be sworn in two days later at the Gernika Board House.

The president of the Basque Parliament, Bakartxo Tejeria, officially confirmed this Thursday the date of June 20 for the holding of the plenary session in which the PNV candidate, Imanol Pradales, will be appointed lehendakari.

In this way, the jeltzale candidate will comply with the usual period of two months between an election and the investiture of a lehendakari, following in the footsteps of Iñigo Urkullu in 2012, 2016 and 2020. This unwritten rule of taking around 60 days before The investiture and the proximity of the European elections are giving PNV and PSE a very wide margin to negotiate both the legislative agreement and the distribution of portfolios.

The negotiations officially began on April 29, and both parties stressed that the priority was to agree on an “ambitious” program to “bring stability, well-being and progress to the whole of Euskadi.” Both Jeltzales and Socialists avoided focusing on the distribution of portfolios and positions, although the PSE made it clear from the beginning that it would demand a greater share of power than in the previous legislature.

The Basque socialists, not in vain, have made the most of the half a point more support they obtained on April 21 and have added two seats, going from 10 to 12 parliamentarians. The PNV, meanwhile, has dropped from 31 to 27, tying with EH Bildu in terms of representation, although prevailing in number of votes.

These ups and downs are being key when addressing the distribution of portfolios. The socialists demand to add one more portfolio or, failing that, take over one of the key departments, so that the division of the last legislature (8 Jeltzal councilors and 3 socialists) will only be repeated if the PSE takes over any of the most relevant portfolios. In any case, the casuistry in this regard is limited: the socialists will have three or, at most, four councilors, while in PNV there will be eight or, at most, nine. The key will be in the areas that each department will cover.

Regarding the contents of the legislative agreement that will favor the support of the socialists for the investiture of Pradales, the thorniest issue has to do with self-government. The PNV wants the upcoming legislature to be one of a renewal of the status of self-government that includes Basque national recognition, while the socialists reject even the concept of “new status” and prefer to talk about an update of the Statute of autonomy. It remains to be seen how they agree on this disagreement or those that may exist in areas such as housing or education, to name a few.

In any case, sources familiar with the conversations indicate that they are progressing positively, and no one doubts that after the European negotiations a legislative agreement will be made public that will foster a government similar to the last Cabinet of Iñigo Urkullu, chaired in this case by Pradales and with advisors from both formations.

This Executive will get underway with the start of summer and it is likely that by June 22, the day of taking office in Gernika, the names of the councilors will already be known.

From there, each counselor should form their teams during the first weeks of July, so that they can take advantage of the summer period to land and reach full performance at the beginning of the next political year.